Spy shooters and leakers cause major headaches for automakers, disrupting their carefully planned strategy of drip-feeding teaser images and little tech breadcrumbs by revealing far more about new cars than their makers would prefer. And this week, we can add car thieves to the naughty list.

If things had gone to plan for the revitalised Lancia this week, news relating to the Stellantis luxury brand would be wholly centered on the release of a second teaser image for Ypsilon that’s due for launch in February. But instead the new press image released today has been forced to battle it out for our attention with shots of an Ypsilon prototype being dragged from a canal following its apparent theft from the French factory that’ll be popping them out in their thousands next spring.

The canal catastrophe is a PR nightmare for Lancia, because it revealed so much about the new Ypsilon that wasn’t clear from our previous spy shots of camouflaged cars. But the one saving grace is that it didn’t give us a clear look at the front-end, and specifically the digital light signature that will help us identify the Peugeot 208-derived supermini on the road. Which is where today’s new teaser comes in.

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While teaser image #2 is carefully lit, and the car posed in such a way that it avoids giving absolutely everything away, it leaves us in no doubt that we’re looking at a subcompact that draws heavily from this year’s Pu+Ra HPE concept. We can see three ultra-slim LED light blades arranged in a Y shape acting as DRLs, a black vizor at the leading edge of the hood bearing the name ‘Lancia’ and what looks like headlight units mounted at the edges of the front bumper. 

The canal shots already confirmed that the Ypsilon would feature rear lights also inspired by the Stratos-esque circular taillights on the Pu+Ra, and we know from a combination of Lancia’s earlier teaser image and our own spy shots that the interior has a weird circular tray on the console and velour seats. Things are less bespoke under the skin: the Ypsilon uses the same Stellantis E-CMP platform as cars like the Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa and will offer the same mix of petrol and electric powertrains.